Home Buying in Houston>Question Details

Bumi, Home Buyer in Plantation, FL

Buy or Rent a property in Houston, Tx

Asked by Bumi, Plantation, FL Thu Mar 7, 2013


I am thinking about moving to the Houston area within the next 6-8 months. I used to live there when i went to college for a few years but since moved back to South Florida. I've always liked Houston and enjoyed my experience there. I have some money to invest in a small condo and South Florida real estate market is tooooo competitive right now. My question is should I just find a apt to rent for now and buy later or try to purchase a condo now in Houston? I'm looking at the West/Southwest side of town (Alief,Sharpstown,Memorial) because thats the area I lived around and am most familiar with. Your thoughts? Thanks

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Don Groff’s answer
I really think that will depend on your long term plans. How long do you plan to stay. Is this move for good? If you are not 100% certain of this it may make sense to rent first and get a feel for the area once again. With interest rates still at 65 year lows it is a good time to buy but doing so when you are uncertain of your long term goals or plans could be costly.

So I would give it some thought over the next 6-8 months or so as you get closer to coming back to Houston.

Hope that helps.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
listings@dongroff.com | http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013

I sell town homes in the Gessner/Westheimer area as well as in the Medical Center. The market has improved for sellers over the last year, but it is in general this type of home is still down in value and there are great opportunities for buyers.

The reason this type of property has not rebounded as well as single family homes is financing. Most buyers in this $150,000 or less group are 1st time buyers and need to get a loan with very little down, like an FHA loan. Problem is most of the condo/TH communities cannot accept this type of financing because they have not been approved by the FHA. Conventional loans are good, but the lenders (your Wells Fargo, your Chase, your Bank of America) are extremely picky about the communities.. You might qualify for a loan, but the community might not pass their inspection.

Rental prices are up and it may be a little expensive, but I would suggest renting for 6 months to get yourself reacquainted with the neighborhoods your familiar with and maybe learn some new ones. You never know, maybe your old stomping grounds might not be where you end up! Let us know if we can help.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
Great response. Thanks for sharing.
Flag Fri Mar 8, 2013
I would not say "it's a great time to buy," but an okay time to buy. We are officially in a seller's market in the Greater Houston area, thus meaning the seller's have more leverage than the buyers. The prices in the city have increased from last year. Houston has 3.7 months of inventory, the lowest it's been in 13 years (supply / demand theory). Six months ago, or even further back would have been a better time to buy because that period was considered a buyer's market.

If you are coming back to the city after some time I think renting can give you a chance to acclimate yourself with a particular neighborhood. This could help guide you to make a much better decision for such a purchase. Please also take into consideration that builders are finally building again, so there are great opportunities and incentives that at least should be looked at before making such a big decision.

If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to call or email me - thanks,

Nadeem - Realtor

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
Hello Bumi,

Since you are familiar with Houston and know what you like, I personally feel you should buy instead of renting. If you were completely new to Houston, I would have suggested that you rent so you can check out some areas to decide where you are most comfortable. You already have an idea of where you want to be too. If you are financing, your monthly payments build equity for you and bring you closer to ownership versus renting where you are pretty much paying without getting any ownership investment.

If you have been away from Houston for a few years, perhaps it would be a good idea to refamiliarize yourself with the growth and develpment. You might find yourself liking more than just the areas you mentioned.

On the financing side, please check out information through your lender(s) to find out how your purchase fits into the budget without hassle.

Call or email if you have any questions.

Web Reference: http://ww.har.com/persis
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
Things could have changed since you have lived here. Maybe go month-to-month renting while you are searching for a place to live. This way you don't have to break a lease if you find the perfect situation. Let me know if you need help!

Kevin Sechelski

House Hunting Houston


1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
As a real estate investor I can tell you that real estate is competitive in all major metropolitan cities. As a national investor and local Houstonian I would advise you to look for a property that needs major renovation.This will eliminate plenty of competition and provide you with your dream condo once you're done. Let me know if I can be of any assistance as I come across these deals frequently.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 25, 2013
How long are you staying there? It is best to buy if you are planning to be there 5+ years
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Hi Bumi,

Home prices are rising in Houston and the last condo sales I had were extremely competitive. Multiple offers on each. Mortgage rates are creeping upward. If there is a time to buy - it is NOW. Rental rates are high and you can put that money into equity. I think you will find that for the price you would spend in South Florida you can get a "bargain" in Houston. As noted herein, you will probably need a conventional loan, but if your credit is decent that should not be a problem. Of course, if you are paying cash you are the boss.

I would be happy to help as would any of us on the forum. Please select one of us and let us work for you. Should cost you zero.

Arnold Richie, Realtor®
Terry Burnaman Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
I agree with Lowell that now is a great time to buy with rates as low as they are. Please check us out if you decide to buy, are shopping for financing and looking for a local mortgage broker to work with.

Anna Maria Durr, NMLS 266699, TREC 596662
Codemark Financial
2626 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas 77098
281-592-0667, anna@codemarkfinancial.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
Hi There!

It's a great time to buy--rates are still very low. It depends on your price range, but currently in Houston you can buy something for cheaper than you can rent. The market in Houston is very competitive right now as well, but it's still one of the best in the country. Let me know what I can do to help. Talk to you soon...V
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 7, 2013
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